Now that the Christmas and holiday splendor has settled down, I’m sure you’re looking at your bank statements and credit card bills with wide eyes. It’s all too easy to go overboard during the holidays. While a holiday budget would have been ideal, now that the season is over, it’s a bit too late for that.
So, what can you do to get yourself back on track financially after the holidays? How can you recover from overspending quickly?
Here are the top 3 ideas, that I will be implementing myself this month. I hope you’ll join me!
1. Sell, Sell, Sell
I know I probably sound like a broken record by continually recommending that you declutter your house and sell like crazy. But it’s one of the best ways to get rid of extra stuff you won’t use, and make a dent in the amount you overspent during the holidays.
It’s also my favorite way to help boost any financial situation in a quick pinch. I always do this process in a couple of different steps.
First, find out which big items you can sell and then list those on Craigslist.
Next, look through every closet for brand-name clothing that can be sold on eBay. Right before Christmas, I sold some Baby Gap pants, Puma toddler shoes, and other outgrown baby items. Many people may have overlooked selling these things because with shipping, a pair of 2T pants and toddler shoes earns about $5-7. This may not seem worth the effort, but it really adds up. As you go through the family’s closets, snap pictures of the item on your smartphone. It takes 5-10 minutes to list something on eBay with a phone, and if it doesn’t sell in three weeks, then you can save it to sell at your yearly yard sale or donation.
Lastly, request a bag from Thredup.com or Kindermint.com and pack them with clothes that your family doesn’t need. Most of the items that don’t sell in steps 1 and 2, will be hand-me downs or 50-cent finds, so I don’t mind if these sites only give me a dollar or two for them.
2. Commit to a No Spend January
Have you ever done a no-spend month? It may be hard but it’s totally worth it. Basically, the idea is that you cut frivolous spending (no fast food, home décor buys, clothes, etc), and eat out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer for the entire month.
You can give yourself $20-40 a week to spend on milk, eggs, bread, and other fresh necessities at the grocery store. I will be doing this in January because my pantry and freezer are nicely stocked from the holiday meals.
This is a perfect time to use up the food items that may have forgotten about (and I plan to use this as a food declutter before our new baby arrives in February). Also, an extra $300-400 would be nice to put towards any credit card debt, or replenish savings accounts, since you won’t be buying groceries.
3. Earn Income on the Side
My husband and I are both blessed to have open-ended jobs. He’s welcomed to do overtime anytime he wants, and I can always increase my freelance load whenever I want.
I can also always fall back on my methods of reselling kid clothes, from yard sales and thrift stores, if I really want to. Do you have other ways to earn side income? There are so many ideas out there, so if you need extra money, I encourage you to be creative.
Perhaps you can ask your employer for overtime opportunities, or take on a small babysitting position. Everyone still has their Christmas lights up, perhaps you can offer to take them down. Even something like renting out your home, or car, can produce a good amount of extra income.
Recovering from a high spending month like the holiday season can be tough, but with these steps you can overcome a blown budget in a short period of time.